SALT LAKE CITY, UT—RootsTech Connect 2021, the world’s largest family celebration event, announces its final lineup of keynote speakers for this year’s free, global online event, on 25–27 February 2021. The latest keynote speakers include bless4, a talented vocal and dance group from Japan; Ladysmith Black Mambazo, a Grammy Award winning group of family and friends from South Africa; Tita, one of the best players in the history of Brazilian soccer; Tongan rugby star Will Hopoate; Bruna Benites, captain of the Brazilian women’s soccer team in the 2012 Summer Olympics; and Astrid Tuminez, president of Utah Valley University. See RootsTech.org for more information or to register for this free event.
A brilliantly talented vocal and dance group from Japan, bless4 made their major debut in 2003 with “Good Morning! Mr. Sunshine.” Some of their hit songs include “Stitch Is Coming,” “Extra Magic Hour,” “Miiro,” “Let’s Have a PARTY,” and “Sousei no Aquarion.” Their documentary, The Entertainers, aired in more than 90 countries around the world, and their music is to be featured in the Ryukyu Anime Movie Tedashiro no Kamiuta.
Well-known for their singing, dancing, and performance abilities, the Kawamitsu siblings have continuously brought entertainment up to the next level. Eighteen years after their initial debut, they have performed across the globe and have continued to entertain audiences.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Formed by Joseph Shabalala in 1960 and composed of family and close friends, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has performed for more than 60 years. Singing in the Zulu styles of their South African homeland, Ladysmith Black Mambazo rose to prominence after collaborating with Paul Simon for the Graceland album. They have since won 5 Grammy Awards and have received nominations for many other awards.
The members of Ladysmith Black Mambazo were named “Cultural Ambassadors of South Africa” by former President Nelson Mandela. The group has traveled throughout the world, sharing their message of love, peace, and harmony.
Considered one of the best players in the history of Brazilian soccer, Milton Queiroz da Paixão, better known as Tita (pronounced “Chee-tah”), entered the professional league in the Flamengo club at age 18. Flamengo was the most popular team in Brazil at the time. Two years later, Tita was named to Brazil’s national team, an immense honor, and he participated in the 1990 World Cup.
During Tita’s fantastic soccer career, he played in Brazil, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Guatemala. In his professional journey, Tita played with legends such as Zico, helped Bayer Leverkusen win its first cup, and supported the Flamengo team in its most successful season.
Will Hopoate began playing for the National Rugby League (NRL) of Australia when he was 18 years old, debuting with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. After a year, he paused his rugby career to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Following his 2 years of service, Will returned to the NRL as a member of the Parramatta Eels, and he currently plays fullback for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
His professional career has spanned 10 years. In 2019, he was named the Bulldogs Player of the Year for his current team.
Bruna Benites rose to prominence in 2012, when she represented her country as captain of the Brazilian national women’s soccer team at the London Olympics. Two years later, the team won the Conmebol Copa America Femenina, and 4 years later, she competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics. In June 2019, Bruna was hired by Sport Club Internacional, and in December 2020 the team won the prestigious Campeonato Gaúcho.
Bruna has inspired thousands as an incredibly powerful and encouraging soccer player. She has a degree in physiotherapy from the Universidade Catolica Dom Bosco in Campo Grande.
Dr. Astrid S. Tuminez
Dr. Astrid S. Tuminez is the seventh president and first full-time woman president of Utah Valley University. Raised in the slums of the Philippines by parents who encouraged learning, Tuminez’s pursuit of education brought her to the United States, where she graduated summa cum laude from Brigham Young University in 1986. She earned a master’s degree from Harvard University in 1988. In 1996, she earned a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has become a world leader in technology and political science, most recently serving as an Asia-Pacific executive at Microsoft. She is the former dean of research and assistant dean of executive education in the Lee Kuan Yew school of public policy at the National University of Singapore.
Other keynote speakers for the global event previously announced include Erick Avari, Francesco Lotoro, Diego Lugano, Sharon Leslie Morgan, Lorena Ochoa, Sunetra Sarker and Nick Vujicic.
Presenters will teach from international locations and every experience will be available in 11 languages at RootsTech.org. Watch any of the offerings live or save them to your playlist to view later on-demand.
The event is free, but registration is required at RootsTech.org.
Find this announcement plus more photos in the FamilySearch Newsroom.
RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.